More Women on Campus May Contribute to Hook-Up Culture

Posted on December 14, 2015

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The greater proportion of women than men on college campuses may contribute to a hook-up culture where women are more willing to engage in casual sex and are more aggressive toward other desirable women who are perceived as rivals, according to new research.

“If your gender is in the majority, then you have to compete with a lot of rivals, and you can’t be as selective or choosy,” said lead researcher Justin Moss, an adjunct psychology professor at Florida State University. “You might also have to cater to the demands of the other sex more often.”

According to the study findings, when the gender ratio was favorable (one’s own gender was in the minority), both men and women adopted more traditional sexual roles with women less interested in casual sex than men. When the gender ratio was unfavorable (one’s own gender was in the majority), those roles shifted as men and women tried to appear more desirable to the opposite sex. If there were more women than men, women stated they were more willing to engage in casual sex. If there were more men than women, men tended to place less importance on casual sex and be more open to long-term commitment.

Participants who believed there was an unfavorable gender ratio were also more likely to display unprovoked aggression with longer and louder noise blasts against attractive partners. The same effects weren’t seen for unattractive partners, possibly because they weren’t seen as a threat. When the gender ratio was favorable for participants, they were less aggressive toward attractive competitors.

“If a woman goes to a bar and notices a lot more women and thinks she has to compete, maybe she can consciously alter the course of her actions or leave and go to a different bar,” Moss said. “Someone’s personal views toward casual sex play an important role, but there also are environmental factors that people should consider.”

Category(s):Fertility Issues, Relationships & Marriage

Source material from Society for Personality and Social Psychology

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